|The last known image of Rachel Pernosky (18), posted to her Instagram account on March 15, 2013|
The day after Rachel posted the above image, she was brutally murdered by her half-brother, 33 year-old Matthew Pernosky inside her home in Mission, B.C., Canada.
Rachel and Matthew share a father, and the two had known each other for most of their lives. Unfortunately, the half-siblings had a very rocky past. In fact, when Rachel was a young child, Matthew molested her. He was around 15 years old at the time of the sexual assault, and he was sentenced to probation at the age of 19.
After that traumatizing court case, Rachel seemed to move on as best as she could. By 2013, she had a 1 year-old son and loved being a mother. However, Matthew was not completely absent from her life. On March 16th, 2013, Matthew went to Rachel’s home in Mission and told her that he wanted to apologize for molesting her as a child. A conversation ensued, and at a certain point, one of Rachel’s friends texted her to ask her how the discussion with Matthew was going. Rachel reportedly told the friend that the conversation was “good, but emotional” and that she was tired and hoped Matthew would leave soon. This is the last time anyone ever heard from Rachel, and she was later reported missing after she did not pick-up her son. Unfortunately, just three days later, Rachel’s body was found hidden in steep terrain near Old Orchard Road in Chilliwack.
Matthew was immediately looked into as a murder suspect, but he denied involved in Rachel’s death. Investigators did have other evidence, however it initially was not enough to charge Matthew with anything related to Rachel’s case. Finally, in 2016, investigators had an officer disguise himself as the head of a criminal organization in order to infiltrate Matthew. The disguised officer, who used the alias “Mr. Big”, was able to get a full confession out of him.
Matthew told “Mr. Big” that “he was upset Rachel was ‘acting like a victim’ when he was the one who had suffered by being charged and going through the court process for molesting Rachel as a child.” Matthew then confessed to hitting Rachel on the head and pinning her down before suffocating her by holding his hand over her nose and mouth. Afterwards, Matthew took Rachel’s body to his home in Abbotsford and sexually molested her post-mortem before dumping her Chilliwack. All of the information that Matthew provided to “Mr. Big” during his confession supported all the evidence that investigators had gathered over the years. Matthew was subsequently arrested and charged with both Rachel’s murder and two other counts of indignity to the human body.
On May 28th, 2018, Matthew pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges. At the sentencing hearing, both the judge and Rachel’s family members called Matthew’s behavior “repulsive.” Rachel’s sister gave an official statement, stating, “[Rachel] was the victim – she was the only victim. Mathew’s not the victim. He may depict himself as a victim in order to get sympathy, but he is not a victim – that’s the bottom line.” Matthew was given an automatic life-sentence, however he will be eligible for parole after 13 years.